Part 2 of one of Netflix best shows if finally available with eight episodes, that definitely will give fans and newcomers a lot to talk about in the next weeks and probably months. Yes, after 827 days of a long, long wait, The OA is back, and it is back to answer all the questions left in in 2016, and to confirm and debunk a lots of crazy theories.
But The OA would not be The OA if all the questions would be solve, and new ones would not be asked. So if you are stuck in one of those new questions, or definitely you got lost in some of the Twin Peaks – esque plots of this second season, do not worry, because right away we will analyze and explain in deep everything that happened in this new eight episodes ¡Let’s start!
1 | To summarize, what happened in The OA season one?
In short Nina Azarova – daughter of wealthy Russian aristocrats – loses her father at a young age, by the hands of a very dangerous mob. Nina is taken to America where she is adopted by a Saint Louis couple, despite the fact she lost her sight in an accident in her native Russia. There they call her Prairie Johnson.
As an adult, Prairie (Brit Marling) goes to New York where she plays the violin in one of the subway stations, there he meets Hap who have deep conversations with her about near death experiences (NDE) theories, NDE like hers on the school bus. Later, Hap kidnaps Prairie and confines her in a glass box with four other test subjects, Homer (Emory Cohen), Renata (Paz Vega), Rachel (Sharon Van Etten) and Scott (Will Brill).
For 7 years, Hap literally kills and revives the group of five repeatedly, for them to suffer NDEs, and learn as much as he can from them. In those NDEs Prairie not only gets her vision back, but also receives the key to free herself from her life as a prisoner, she receives the so-called movements. Prairie and Homer develop a deep relationship and try to catch Hap, but he anticipates the plan and abandons Prairie in the country, far away from the group.
Prairie returns to her parents’ home in Saint Louis and there she becomes obsessed with using the movements to locate Homer and her original group. The guys who attend his call Steve (Patrick Gibson), Alfonso / French (Brandon Perea), Buck (Ian Alexander) and Jesse (Brendan Meyer) join one of their teachers Betty / BBA (Phyllis Smith) and learn the movements .
After a shooter arrives at the boys’ school, they use the movements, as they are placed casually in position. This distracts the shooter and one of the employees manages to neutralize him, not before accidentally shooting Prairie who was watching the scene from the outside. At the end Prairie is taken to the hospital, while Steve runs behind the ambulance asking her to take him with her.
2 | What happened to Prairie Johnson after what the cafeteria events?
The wound that Prairie got in her chest, although it did not kill her instantly, it was deadly. Shortly after these events Prairie died, but her conscience, or her soul – as you would rather call it – achieved its purpose, transmigrating, jumping or fleeing into another dimension. A dimension where she expected to see Homer again.
3 | Is Nina Azarova Prairie Johnson?
No. Although both are essentially the same person in different dimensions, what happened during their childhood made them completely different women.
Prairie had to suffer the death of her father, to go blind and to be sent to another country, to then suffer a kidnapping for almost a decade. While Nina lived with her father, she was never blind, traveled the world at will and enjoyed extraordinary power with which she achieved her purposes.
The dimension in which Nina Azarova lives – Dimension 2 – is one in which the president of the United States in 2016 is not Barack Obama, but Joe Biden, Obama’s vicepresident. How would that have changed world history? We would have to travel to another dimension to answer that question.
4 | What happened to Hap and the OA group after he left her behind?
Hap took Homer, Rachel, Renata and Scott to an open field, after injecting them with a deadly poison. The option was simple, or they all die there, or they all make the movements and jump. Everyone, even Homer went for the second option and ended up in the same dimension in which Nina Azarova lived.
Hap, in his double’s body named Doctor Percy, confined Scott, Rachel and Renata in the mental institution where he worked on Treasure Island, while allowing Homer to be free. Homer did not remember anything he lived in its original dimension. In this dimension Homer was simply Dr. Roberts, Dr. Percy’s favorite student.
5 | Who is Karim Washington and why is he so important?
Karim Washington (Kingsley Ben-Adir) is a former FBI agent who for years worked undercover to discover terrorist cells in the United States. After an incident with his wife, being 100% against having children, Karim left his job at the FBI and devoted himself to work as a private investigator.
It is for this work that he receives the visit of Grandma Vu, who has lost all traces of his granddaughter Michelle. Seeing that the police do nothing to find the girl, being an Asian immigrant, and not a white woman from a wealthy neighborhood, she takes the matter seriously. What Karim does not know is that he is being led into a trap by being an integral part of a conspiracy that combines the supernatural, the psychiatric and the technological.
6 | Why Homer could not remember anything of what he lived with OA?
Because there are several variables at play in the matter of interdimensional travel. And apparently one of them has to do with the will and another one has to do with the strength of the subject’s personality.
When the OA group decided to collaborate with Hap, everyone was convinced to do so, with the notable exception of Homer. Since Homer did not have the will to jump with Hap, it was easy for his conscience to end up hidden behind the conscience of Doctor Roberts.
Likewise, the strength of the personality plays a key factor. Doctor Roberts is a human being with very powerful internal conflicts that Homer does not have, which translate into a more powerful personality. Roberts is unsure of himself, and he is always suffering from the possibility of not being a good doctor or a good boyfriend. Part of that we saw in his frustrating date at the restaurant.
On the other hand, Homer was always at peace with himself, to the point that he helped the rest of the kidnapped group to stand, despite the misery for which Hap forced them to go through. The rest of the travelers – Hap, Prairie, Renata, Rachel, Scott – have so many conflicts that it was easy for them to take control of their counterparts, much less tormented and desperate than themselves.
7 | What exactly is Nob Hill’s house and why were Raskin and Hap interested in it?
The house of Nob Hill had been a sacred site for the tribe that lived around San Francisco Bay, being on a well that emitted vapors with a toxic substance for humans – the mercury sulfide – that allowed those exposed, to have prophetic visions.
In 1910 a medium and an engineer bought the land after the earthquake in San Francisco and the subsequent fire. The medium warned her husband of the danger presented by the house, but the engineer decided that they should protect the well and built the house like a puzzle, based on the dreams of his wife.
Those who could fully understand what happens in the house, the worthy ones who followed the steps – the narrow tunnel, the double staircase, and the window with the open rose – could see the truth. Those who did not, ended up locked in the basement of the property. The same engineer decided to solve the puzzle that he helped to put together but could not stand what he saw behind the window of the rose and ended his days in a comatose state.
Raskin and Hap are interested in the house because it holds the key to interdimensional travel, and as Hap discovered it, not only by the visions that those who arrive there experience, but by a seed that grows in the ears of those same people.
8 | What is exactly the game for which Michelle Vu disappeared? What are the steps?
The game is called Quantum Psychotic, the very name of a book written by Hap-as-Percy that theorized about how dreams and NDEs were windows to other dimensions. Nina Azarova read the book and partnered with Hap-as-Percy and her boyfriend Pierre Ruskin to do what they called the discovery of the century.
Nina was hired former MI-5 agent, Marlow Rhodes, to find patterns in the dreams of thousands of volunteers who eventually pointed to Nob Hill’s house, the problem is that they could not find out what was there in the house, in other words, they were unworthy. The answer was to find the worthies to solve the riddle.
Hap influenced Ruskin to design the game in such a way that he could get answers without spending so much money. The game was designed to guide the participants to the Nob Hill house and once there they could solve the mystery hidden inside the house.
The game starts with a few filter games that only allow those who are really smart to go ahead, then it moves on to a treasure hunt with augmented reality that guides them first to SYZYGY and finally to the tunnel that takes them to the Nob Hill house. There they had to discover for themselves how to get to the attic. The problem is that those who achieved it ended up in a coma.
9 | What happened to Fola? Why did she look like an old woman?
Fola (Zendaya) solved the game until she reached the Nob Hill’s house, but she was stuck trying to find the attic, and amid the influence of the poisonous vapor that rushes in the house, she ends up locked in an illusion in which she looked like an old woman, perhaps having experienced what seemed like years in that room of mirrors.
10 | What happened to Michelle?
Michelle (Ian Alexander), who is Buck’s alter ego in Dimension 2, was an addicted player to Quantum Psychotic and after a long time discovered the way to reach the attic, the window of the open rose, but like the others, she ended up in a coma after seeing what was on the other side.
11 | What actually happened to Dr. Harlow Rhodes?
Harlow Rhodes discovered that in addition to the three elements that led to Nob Hill’s house, there was a fourth element that began to appear in dreams: the face of Karim Washington.
Pierre Ruskin decided that he would not send Michelle – now in a coma – to be part of Hap’s experiment, but he would use her as a bait to catch Washington in the game. However, when she realized the experiment was harming minors, Harlow Rhodes resigned and left the information to Nina to take action on the matter.
Eventually Karim finds Rhodes who guides him in what he should do next. Later Karim returns to the cabin where the woman was hiding and finds her dead. But did she commit suicide or she was killed by Ruskin? It is quite likely that she herself has taken her own life, being tied to the guilt of having condemned so many people, especially children, in search of the Ruskin’s treasure.
Ruskin, as he told Karim, was legally protected and although Rhodes had come out to say, with evidence in hand what they were doing, it was quite complicated to put him behind bars.
12 | Who planted the books in Prairie’s room?
We have been talking about what is being happening in Dimension 2, now we are going to check the aftermath of the cafeteria events, and Prairie’s death in Dimension 1.
At the end of the first season of The OA the doubt remained that everything Prairie knew and what she claimed to have experienced was simply the delusions of a sick mind, a deranged mind, especially after Alfonso / French found in her room books about russian aristocrats, angels, near-death experiences and Homer’s Iliad.
However, when Alfonso refuses to play along with Steve in his eagerness to follow OA, he receives the news that it was Prairie’s parents who bought the books to try to gain some favor with her, so she would not see them as strangers. The books were not planted, it was simply a gift that was made to her based on everything she had already expressed that she knew and experienced.
13 | Why did the boys decide to run away with Betty / BBA? Why were the police looking for them?
After the boys initial split up, Buck sees Rachel’s reflection in the mirror and immediately tells the others, including Alfonso, who already had a lot more confidence in OA. The boys agreed that there was a message that Rachel wanted to send them from another dimension, but they had to leave the city to find what it was.
Not having an immediate revelation, they decided to go with a medium, Aunt Lily who warned them that with the broken mirror, the spirit would try to find another object to possess and found it: a television with cable service.
There she gave them the message, they had to make an interdimensional trip but it would only be safe for Betty / BBA. The boys decided unanimously not to reveal their location to their parents, so the police concluded that Betty had kidnapped them, as part of a cult whose leader was none other than Prairie herself, now deceased.
14 | What happened to Rachel? Why could she communicate with the boys?
Rachel was killed by Hap after she witnessed what he was hiding in a room attached to her laboratory. Hap had allowed Rachel to assist him, given the fact she could not speak and given her mental state, so no one would take her seriously. But Rachel took advantage of Hap’s carelessness and entered the room, which left her speechless with horror. In the fight that followed, Hap murders Rachel, but then we see her trying to communicate with the boys.
Here we enter in the field of the speculation. What happened to Rachel?Apparently when an interdimensional traveler dies his conscience or soul is trapped in some supradimensional space – heaven, hell, purgatory? – from where they can communicate.
Now why would a super-dimensional being be interested in helping OA or the kids? Well maybe as was said at the beginning it’s a matter of will. Rachel died willing to help OA, and the best way to do it is with the kids. It is to be assumed that once her will is fulfilled, Rachel can finally rest in peace. Or maybe in those super-dimensional realms are really interested in helping OA. What do you think?
15 | French / Alfonso is gay?
In fact, the reason why the boys arrive at Aunt Lily’s house and get the message is because French, bored of not finding anything in the mirror, decided to go out and use Grindr, a dating application for gays. There he meets Handley (Travis Schuldt).
After having sex, Handley advises French not to get carried away by what others think and not act like others think he should act, and gives him the number of Aunt Lily. Then Alfonso confesses to Steve that in effect, he does not like girls and that he had sex with another man. Yes, Alfonso / French is gay.
16 | Why did the FBI agent help the boys?
But his sexual orientation is not the only secret French had. When they were already at the motel, Alfonso decided to call the FBI agent who was at Prairie’s house, and he came to his aid.
Agent Rahim (Riz Ahmed) told them that in fact, in the FBI they are aware of the question of interdimensional travel and that they were in Prairie’s house to protect her, because like Rachel, they know that she is important. Finally Rahim tells them that there is a way to get in touch with OA and it is being in the same space as her, although in another dimension.
17 | Why did Jesse take his own life?
Well, it must be noted that Jesse did not do it on purpose. It was not like he woke up one day saying, Ok, I’m going to take my life. The issue is that after the events in the cafeteria, Jesse could not deal as successfully with the issue as his friends did and had recurring nightmares, which prevented him from sleeping.
Jesse developed an addiction to sleep-inducing medications, as we saw when he bought Oxycodone from a local drug dealer, and when the paste-like medicines stopped working properly, he decided to take advantage of those of Betty’s uncle, Uncle Carl, who were administered at patch form. The issue is that Jesse abused and covered his body with those patches, causing his death.
18 | Who exactly is Elodie?
Elodie is an interdimensional traveler, who for some reason, like Rachel and Rahim, has a mission to help OA. It is not about being pure and magnificent, since she herself confesses how are their interdimensional trips and also has sex with Hap. I do not believe that an angel gets into such a mundane plan, or does them?
Elodie gives OA the key to travel successfully … integrating with the body she arrives at, which allows Prairie to successfully integrate with Nina, becoming one with her. That was also what happened with Homer and with Doctor Roberts, as Renata verified it.
19 | What did OA see when she entered the haunted house?
Well, what she saw was a bunch of trees talking to her. The trees seem to be the connection that exists between the dimensions and remind Prairie how important she is, to maintain integrity in the dimensions and keeping away those who want to use the method for their own benefit. The trees tell Prairie she has to do it along with Nina Azarova. Prairie refuses to do it, but the trees – I suppose, supradimensional beings – warn her that if she does not do it she will suffer.
20 | Who the hell was the octopus OA was talking to? Why could she talk to him?
When Prairie awakes in the body of Nina Azarova she realizes that her arms are covered with strange marks. Then we see that for some reason Nina gave a show in SYZYGY where she allowed an octopus to nail its suckers in her arms.
Nina could thus communicate with the octopus, who called himself Old Night. The reason why Nina could do it is because she was a medium and it is the same reason why Prairie-as-Nina was able to communicate with the forest of trees in the house of Nob Hill.
The octopus apparently is simply an ordinary octopus taken from the sea, which nevertheless by its connection with Nina seems to have had a wide knowledge of humans and have empathy with them. It is assumed that his connection with Nina also allowed him to access all the information about the interdimensional portals.
21 | What is Hap’s plan?
Arriving at Dimension 2 and having the support of Dr. Roberts, Hap had proven that interdimensional travel was possible, now he had to find a safe way to travel through them. And the answer was in Nob Hill’s house.
All the guys who managed to see through the rose window, ended up in a coma and with a seed in their ear – including versions 2.0 of Steve, French and Jesse. Hap enclosed the comatose bodies of the boys and allowed the seed to grow around them.
21. 1 | What the hell is the seed that Hap found in the ears of the boys?
Apparently they are young versions of the leafy trees that communicated with OA, and ultimately they are supradimensional entities that allow souls, or consciences, to travel between dimensions. Or at least to offer a guide. Apparently these entities have chosen OA as a warden of these trips. Is it true?
21.2 | Is Hap from another dimension?
Hap’s great motivation to do all the monstrosities that he does is to find the person he loves, which apparently is Prairie, but in Dimension 1 nothing of this was evidenced. However Hap seems to remember at least voices of that dimension where someone loves him. That means that like Betty, Hap is connected to other dimensions and can glimpse at least part of these using the germinated seeds that grow in the ears of the comatose.
21.3 | What did Hap changed in his plan?
However, Elodie changed Hap’s perspective of having to use humans to jump, leaving everything to the power of the will and a series of five robots that could make the moves.
Then the plan was simply to use the robots and one of the petals of the flowers of the boys in a coma, to fix the destination to the dimension where he was loved. He no longer needed Homer, or Rachel, or Renata, or Scott. Maybe, only Prairie
22 | What does the end of the second part of OA mean?
Well, as so many things happened, in at least three different scenarios we will explain in segments.
22.1 | What happened to OA? Why was she floating?
When OA got caught between Hap’s robots and this one shot Homer, she used the power she got from her integration with Nina to make a guided jump, in which maybe she and Homer had the chance to be happy. The ritual to do so implied that she carried that energy to the maximum which allowed her to float. However, the ritual was interrupted, so in the jump she fell to the ground.
In Dimension 3, OA entered the body of nothing less than Brit Marling, the actress and producer of the series, who was just recording the episode, when in reflection of what happened in Dimension 2, fell to the ground hitting her head. In other words, we go from fiction to reality … apparently?
22.3 | How do we know that OA is in the body of Brit Marling?
Because Steve who was willed to following OA ended up in Dimension 3, had not OA been in that dimension, Steve would have simply ended up in Dimension 2.
22.2 | What happened to Hap?
Hap, who already had experience in the matter of traveling interdimensionally, ended up in Dimension 3 in the body of Jason Isaacs, which is exactly what Scott had seen in his NDE. There, initially confused by the jump, it was difficult for him to stabilize, but in the end he dedicated himself to understanding where he had come.
He knew it was Jason Isaacs and that he was married to Brit Marling, or maybe he integrated himself with the actor. But let’s not be fooled, that Dimension 3 is not our dimension precisely because of that detail, Jason Isaacs is married to Emma Witts since 2001, not Brit Marling. So Dimension 3 is very similar to ours but it is not per se our reality.
22.3 | What happened to the other guys?
Here the issue becomes confusing. We know that Steve was able to travel because he was willed to OA, but what about the others? Remember that when they made the movements in the cafeteria none traveled and Prairie could do it because she was dying.
Besides, the boys seemed to agree that once the movements of the five people were done, only the ones willing to do it were actually traveling, not all of them. So the answer to this question is that the guys who wanted to stay, probably French, Buck and Angie stayed in Dimension 2, while Steve and BBA probably jumped into Dimension 3.
22.4 | What happened to Karim and Michelle?
In the end Karim, after his conversation with Pierre Ruskin realizes that Grandma Vu worked for the businessman and that he had been recruited because of the data that the dreams were showing, connecting him as the fourth key factor in the house of Nob Hill.
Karim returned to the house and after proving that he was worthy, finally arrived at the attic, when he opened he saw OA traveling to another dimension, accidentally causing her fall. Then he saw Dimension 3, where not only were Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs, but also Ian Alexander. For some reason Michelle ended up in Ian Alexander’s body and when Karim called her, she went to the false attic from where he called her.
Once Michelle came into contact with Karim, she returned to her body, fulfilling his promise to find the girl.
23 | Is OA really an angel?
No. When Old Night – the talkative octopus – forces her to reveal the truth, OA asserts that she is an interdimensional traveler, not an angel. Then, in front of Hap, she affirms that his quality as an angel is not tied to a biological or supernatural question, but to all the suffering that has passed through his life that made him an extremely sensitive and pure being, what anyone could call an angel.
24 | What is the message of the second part of The OA?
The first message of this second part is that if you get to travel to another dimension do not go out at once to answer everything they ask you how Prairie did, rather analyze the issue as Hap did and when you already know how it really is all there, then yes, talk. If not, you’re going to end up in a madhouse.
Well, but seriously. The message of this second part is more relevant to how faith and will can literally move mountains. Steve’s will finally helped him achieve his goal, jump and find OA again. Karim’s will led him to find Michelle even in another dimension, totally out of reach for another human being. Hap’s will allowed him to fulfill all his dreams, even at the expense of his own morals.
And finally, Prairie’s will allowed her to see again her soulmate Homer, even for a few moments.
Many of us, in general, perhaps because of fatigue, illness, laziness, or tedium, stop pursuing our dreams, our goals, our ambitions and we end up at a mediocre point where we get nothing. Maybe we lack some faith in ourselves, and the desire, the will and motivation to finally conquer that prize that perhaps for others is impossible. But perhaps for you, if you manage to learn to make sacrifices, to give your best effort, and to believe in yourself, you can achieve what you have longed for. Nothing is impossible if you dream.
Questions? Annotations? Doubts? Insults? The comments section is open just below this post. See you in another post of Explained, here on El Sabanero X.